(CNN) – President Trump is applauding House Republicans after Thursday’s health care vote.
Some were bused over to the White House to be by his side during a Rose Garden victory lap. This is something House Republicans have been trying to do for years
After seven years of campaigning and promising, Republicans Thursday took the first step to deliver on their pledge to repeal and replace Obamacare.
House speaker Paul Ryan declared victory…”Today was a big day – but it’s just one step in the process”, after a flurry of frenetic negotiating and last-minute changes to win over enough members to save the bill .
Republicans are moving forward, but without an answer on how many people would be covered by the bill – and at what price.
Rep. Steny Hoyer, (D) Minority Whip, said, “They’re rushing to judgment because they think the facts are going to be against them, the facts are going to undermine their ability to pass this bill. We don’t have a CBO score.”
The original bill, as analyzed by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, estimated that it would leave 24 million fewer people insured in the next decade than under Obamacare.
But the new version – with the 11th hour modifications to the bill – has not been scored by the CBO.
Even some Republicans who support the proposal say it’s being rushed. Rep. Mark Sanford, (R) South Carolina, said, “It has been a truncated process. I think it’s not what a lot of us would have liked to have seen from a standpoint of a more robust debate, but we are where we are.”
The bill passed by the house today would,
- Provide refundable tax credits based mainly on age
- Revamp Medicaid funding, reducing federal support by capping funding
- Repeal Obamacare subsidies for lower-income Americans
- Eliminate individual and employer mandates
- End Medicaid expansion money starting in 2020
- Eliminate Obamacare taxes on the wealthy and insurers
- Weaken guaranteed protections for people with pre-existing conditions
The bill passed without a single vote from the Democrats.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, (D) Minority Leader, said, “Republicans again are fraudulently claiming the Upton amendment covers Americans with pre-existing conditions. It. Does. Not.”
Democrats are already putting Republicans on notice, readying to use this vote as ammunition to win back the House in 2018.
Pelosi said, “They have this vote tattooed on them. This is a scar they will carry”
The bill now moves to the Senate, where it faces another daunting path ahead, with Republicans holding a slim majority.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, (R) Majority Leader, said, “It will be a real big challenge on the Senate side as well.”
Senate Republicans are openly questioning the process pursued by their House colleagues.
Senator Graham tweeted that the bill, “not been scored, amendments not allowed and 3 hours of final debate”…should be “viewed with caution.”
While other Republicans say the House version will undergo significant changes in the Senate.
Sen. Bob Corker, (R) Tennessee, said, “People are going to want to improve it. I don’t see any way that it goes back in the form that it comes.”
Copyright 2017 CNN